A haven for wildlife and native vegetation, Reef Hills State Park near Benalla is a great spot for a picnic, scenic drive, bushwalk, bike ride or horse ride. The park will delight visitors year-round, with wildflowers blooming in spring, wattles flowering in winter and large yellow Guinea-flowers on display most of the year. The park was worked for reef and alluvial gold in the early 1900s and today prospectors may be still be lucky enough to find gold. Things to see and do - Scenic drives, bushwalks, horseriding, picnicking and nature study are some of the most popular activities in the park. Some roads are suitable for bicycle riding. - Spring (the main wildflower season) and autumn are popular times to visit but there are plenty of things to see and do year round. Several wattles are in flower in the winter months and the large yellow Guinea-flowers can be found most of the year. Before you go Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website. Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
Situated in the heart of Victoria's bushranger country, the Benalla Art Gallery occupies a striking modernist building by the lake. The gallery presents an exhibition program of Australian art in the Bennett Gallery, in addition to the permanent collection which includes elements of the region's history and recounting an Australian-European settlement story. The collection continues to develop with recent acquisitions including outstanding Indigenous works and contemporary media postmodernist works. The Ledger Collection comprises Australian art from the 19th and early 20th centuries with an emphasis on Australian landscape and Australian women artists. The collection is divided into two parts: the Ledger Collection of 19th and 20th century art and the Gallery Collection of modern and contemporary art in a variety of media. The Benalla Art collection includes painting, prints, works on paper, textiles, ceramics and sculpture. On display is a tapestry of Sidney Nolan's 'Glenrowan', from his Ned Kelly series The Benalla Art Gallery Cafe offering cafe style dining featuring local wines and produce. Enjoy lunch or coffee and cake on the lakeside deck in a relaxing atmosphere complemented with great art, good food and memorable views. Afterwards walk through the historical Benalla Botanical Gardens, view the Weary Dunlop memorial sculpture by Louis Lauman and visit the Benalla Ceramic Mural, featuring work by outstanding ceramists and artists.
The Benalla Costume and Pioneer Museum was founded in 1967 and is now accredited through the Museum Accreditation Program (Victoria). It is managed entirely by volunteer members of the Benalla and District Historical Society and is a splendid example of how the skills of an enthusiastic and talented group can produce excellence. Benalla is situated on the main highway and rail link between Melbourne and Sydney. The Museum is centrally located on the bank of Lake Benalla (part of the Broken River) adjacent to the unique Ceramic Mural and across the lake from the Botanical Gardens and the outstanding Regional Art Gallery. The Museum specialises in costume and local history, including much of the Ned Kelly story, and houses the famous and unique blood stained sash he was wearing at the siege in Glenrowan. The costume collection dates from 1770 to the present and is shown in regularly changing semi-permanent exhibitions of dressed models with appropriate accessories. Displays include memorabilia of three of Benalla's famous sons including Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop, Captain Hector Waller and Michael J Savage who went on to become a Prime Minister of New Zealand.